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Setting up your Bindings

By on August 3, 2010

Once you’ve bought your snowboard and bindings, the next thing you need to do is figure out how to set them up. There are four elements which need to be considered: Stance Width, Binding Position (setback), Lean and Stance. You also need to make sure that your boot position is well seated in the bindings.

1. Stance Width

The first thing you need to figure out when you are setting up your snowboard and bindings is how wide apart you want your feet to be, ie your stance width. As a rule of thumb, your feet should be roughly your shoulder width apart (for the best biomechanics and control). Some beginners like to have their feet slightly closer together (it can be easier learning how to turn this way), however since you have your own board I assume this doesn’t apply to you :-) Having a wider stance will give you more stability, so if you’re riding lots of parks and want to try some spins try increasing you stance width one binding hole and see how you go.

2. Binding Position

Binding position refers to where you setup your bindings relative to the centre of the snowboard (ie, where you position your centre of gravity). There are two types of positions that you should setup bindings on a snowboard – centred and setback (backward). Please note: don’t setup your snowboard with your bindings positioned further forward than the centred stance… unless you want to eat alot of snow :-)

  • Centred Stance – Centred stance (normally the middle binding holes for both feet) is the most optimal position to setup your bindings for all riding conditions, especially if you want to ride park, do jumps etc.
  • Setback Stance – We recommend using a setback stance only if you are planning on riding in deep powder. Having a setback stance results in more of your weight being distributed towards the tail of the board, so the nose will ride higher (ie, will not sink as easily in powder). If you are going to use a setback stance, try moving both feet one binding hole towards the tail to start with then see how you go.

3. Binding Lean

Binding lean refers to the angle which the back of your bindings are set at and can influence the way you ride and how easy your snowboard is to turn. Generally, adding lean to your snowboard bindings will make it easier for you to turn the board by keeping you on your edges alot more. So how much lean should you add to your bindings? Optimally your binding lean should be setup to match the angle of your heel edge (ie, your lean angle should be parallel with your edge angle), but some people like having more or less lean so just try a couple of settings and see what feels right for you.

4. Stance

Snowboarding stance refers to the angles you ride with and which foot you like to have forward (down mountain). Probably the most important part of setting up your snowboard is getting your stance right for your skill level and riding requirements. Firstly, lets start with what type of rider you are – Goofy or Regular. Regular riders like to have their left foot on the front of the board, whereas goofy riders have their right foot on the front of the board. If you don’t know which one is right for you, then use this simple test. Stand with your feet together, then get someone to push you from behind. The foot that you stop yourself falling with is generally the foot which you should have on the front of the board.

Regular Stance

Now that you know if you’re goofy or regular lets move onto stance angles. There are two common styles: Forward Stance and Duck Stance

  • Forward Stance – The most commonly used stance for beginners and intermediates, forward stances usually have positive angles on the front and back foot. This configuration provides good all-mountain performance. Common configurations for this type of riding include 21° on the front and 6° on the back foot (this is a good versatile setup), and 30° and 15° (more suited to carving and beginners).
  • Duck Stance – A more advanced riding style suitable for doing tricks, riding park and in switch (when your foot that is normally back is now at the front), this stance involves having your front foot angled forward and your back foot angled backward… kind of how ducks walk :-)Stance angles can be anywhere between 30 ° and -25° for the front and back feet based on comfort and purpose. Commonly used angles are: +18° on the front & -6° on the back (good to start with if you’re new to this stance type), and +15° on the front & -15° on the back (mirrored stance, more suited to advanced riders). When using a duck stance, try to keep the difference between the angles in the 10-35° range for optimum configuration and comfort (any larger angles will put alot more pressure on your knees and legs and increase the chances of injuries). For example, using 18° on the front and -6° on the back = 24° angle difference.

5. Boot Position

Last but not least, you need to make sure that your boots sit well in your bindings. To do this, strap one of your boots into your bindings and flip the board (with the boot in it) over. Take a look to see how much of the boot overhangs the front of the board vs the back of the board. If the toe overhangs significantly compared to the heel at the back of the board then adjust your bindings to make sure that your boots are centred. Good luck, and if you have any questions please give us a yell :-)

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